The selfie craze has caught on like wildfire. This new photo phenomenon is nothing new, however; in fact, I dare say it has been around since there have been cameras. Remember setting a timer on the camera and jumping into the frame right before the buzzer went off, hopefully capturing the moment without cutting off anyone’s head? Now the stress and exercise has been removed and we are left to snap that perfect pic of ourselves having fun with friends, family or even ourselves. The ARTmazing Gallery located at 309 Decatur Street is a perfect place for selfies of you and your “krewe.”
Established by local artist Giselle Monteiro, The ARTmazing Gallery is a larger-than-life 6000 square foot POP ART exhibition and special events space that provides an immersive and fun experience. Guests will enjoy the uniquely themed installations and rooms curated to inspire and showcase the creativity, excitement, and innovation where you complete the art.
I recently had an opportunity to visit Giselle at the gallery and take my four-legged little princess, Magnolia, for a photo shoot and let me tell you she is a diva in every sense of the word from fashion to attitude. I love the over-the-top drama of the space. I mean who doesn’t want to play among the clouds?!
I was fascinated by how the concept of the gallery came into being. Giselle explained that she visited a similar gallery in New York and fell in love. “We need this in New Orleans,” was her first thought. She also knew that she would be able to expand on what she had seen and create an even more unique experience for patrons.
This interactive gallery allows guests to let their imaginations flow. The gallery houses thirteen Instagrammable rooms filled with the wildest experiences from the Millionaire’s Room, which features a money rain that will give guests the chance to twirl around while surrounded by a million dollars, to posing on your own throne complete with crown.
Want to lounge in a clawfoot tub, be suspended from an oversized claw machine or frolic in a life-size birdcage? You are able to do it all. The exhibits remain current and fresh, with at least two to three changing every three months. Seasonal exhibits are also added for special holidays such as Mardi Gras, Halloween, Easter and Christmas.
Giselle gets much of her inspiration from Pinterest, department store window displays and music videos. Artists like Taylor Swift and Beyonce have given her incredible ideas. The venue also boasts a private event space that lends itself to the New Orleans atmosphere with a distinctive twist.
From the moment you enter the gallery, guests are drawn to the gorgeous mural on the staircase leading up to the second floor. “You Look Good In NOLA” is a colorful photo op done by the talented Bruna Pétalla who is a lettering artist who expresses herself through vibrant colors and positive messages. She was born and raised in Brazil but just a few years ago found New Orleans as her home. Her favorite catchphrase “Be Nola Kind” can be seen in many of the pieces in the gallery as well as in some fun gift shop items. Since I am a shopaholic, I can say that they have a great artist’s gift shop with lots of merchandise with another great saying “Self Made Queen.”
Magnolia and I played, took photos and thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon. ARTmazing Gallery is a great excursion with others or alone; besides who needs anyone else in a true selfie? I am ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille!
The gallery also helps support the community in many ways. For every ticket sold, a percentage is donated to BYOBikes. This non-profit’s goal is to provide less fortunate children in the NOLA community with their first bike. The money collected buys a bike, helmet, lock, lights, and a safety class for children.
Local companies are also able to get in on the action by sponsoring their own instagram setting. Create your own custom, branded advertising in this gallery which is attracting lots of tourists and locals alike.
Tickets are $25 or $50 for the VIP experience which includes your ticket plus a mini photoshoot. You get forty minutes of photographer service to capture your moments and give you professional and high quality images. With the VIP package, each person in your group must purchase this level. Also on Thursday and Sundays, locals get 20% off ticket prices. The gallery’s hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. For more information, go to https://artmazinggallery.com.